Chemotherapy for advanced prostate cancer

Chemotherapy is the use of drugs to kill or slow the growth of cancer cells. If the prostate cancer continues to advance and spread to other parts of your body despite using hormone therapy, chemotherapy may be suitable. Chemotherapy may also be offered as a first-line treatment in combination with Androgen Deprivation Therapy (ADT).

Chemotherapy is generally given by injection (infusion) into a vein (intravenously). It is usually given once every three weeks and you do not need to stay overnight in hospital.

Side effects may include: 

  • nausea
  • hair loss
  • changes in blood counts increasing the risk of bleeding or infections
  • numbness or tingling in the hands or feet (peripheral neuropathy)
  • changes in nails
  • other side effects can occur rarely, such as allergic reactions or blockages of the tear ducts.

Listen to a podcast on Making Treatment Decisions

Video: What is chemotherapy?

Watch this short video to learn more about chemotherapy.

This information was last reviewed in April 2016
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